I have had the fortune and misfortune of covering two floods separated by only a few months. I was out in Foley, Annada and Winfield, MO this past weekend covering the flood. These towns are all on hwy 79 which winds north along the Mississippi. I was fortunate enough to get out to the levee where prisoners were helping the national guard sandbag. I heard on national news this morning that water broke through the levee yesterday.
While I was there, I got in a boat with a local man who was helping move sandbags. He told me that where we were was normally dry land and there was about 25ft of water under us. The river was a good 3/4 mile from the levee. Now it is one in the same.
He also told me that the national guard didn’t show up until the cameras showed up. They actually slowed down the process because the regular sand baggers had to get the guard in their line and more sand bags didn’t come in until the cameras came.
We hear these stories about people pulling together to save these small towns but from my experience, hardly anyone helps that doesn’t live there.
I’m still trying to determine what the life lesson is from this.
Here were some of the photos I took while out there.
The first few photos are from Annada, MO. The town was desolate. The second grouping of photos is from Foley, MO. Prisoners were working with the National Guard to add sandbags on top of the earthen levee. Yesterday the water overtook that levee.
My friend, Chris Birk, wrote a piece that sets the scene in the smaller towns for the St. louis Beacon.